I have been thinking about the horse whisperer. I also know the dog whisperer, and an animal whisperer. I think of the power of whispering. The soft, gentle, quiet knowing it takes to have a whisper heard. And the intuition and internal knowing it takes to have words to whisper.
Just within the last few days I have come to view myself as a listener. I have, of course, long talked about the importance of listening to each other. Not being defensive and having to explain yourself, but listening with your whole being and staying attentive and available. I am thinking of something even less visibly active then the listening one does with one’s partner. I am thinking of listening with the whole body for the purpose of absorbing one’s story and facilitating healing. One sided listening. I may never respond to ears that hear. I maybe will respond only to souls that long to be heard.
I am definitely NOT talking about being passive. The activity comes from the heart and from somewhere very sacred. “Tell me your story.”
I imagine sitting at the bedside of someone whose heart has been challenged in ways similar to my own. On election night, for 40 minutes my heart went out of rhythm and into atrial flutter and then it gently slid back into sinus rhythm. It shook me up! It hasn’t happened for almost 6 months and I was only watching the elections. I was not climbing a mountain in Prague (as was once the case when I went out of rhythm.) nor was I jumping on a trampoline (as also happened once). I was just sitting in a chair, totally oblivious to the political posturing I was witnessing, waiting for the results from Toronto to come it at 9:30 pm.
I have had the need to tell this story over and over again. I have written about it. I have consulted professionals. I have shared with my partner, and friends. I have gone over it in my head and I frequently ask myself what happened?
I think it is important that I not worry about the need to tell the story many times over. Our stories are important and the telling of them helps us to find understanding and love for the self that lived that story. I want to be available to listen to other people’s stories. I can imagine sitting beside someone and simply saying, “Tell me. I will listen.” I will listen for no further purpose then letting them know they matter and I care. I am hearing their fear, their bewilderment, their hope, their pain, their helplessness, and I am hearing the silent place filled with the great, dark unknown. I will hear them even when they whisper.
In the listening to the great, dark unknown, maybe I can begin to know. And if I do, I will surly share what I learn. I will listen to your whisper and I will hold your words precious in my mind and heart. As I learn more about hearing my own whispering, I will be better able to hold your soft tentative words and always keep them sacred.